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2024 How Long Can You Be On Workers’ Comp in North Carolina?

If you were recently injured at work in the state, you may wonder about what type of benefits you can receive from your employer’s insurance carrier and how long those benefits will last. If you are asking how long can you be on workers’ comp in North Carolina, it is vital to assess the severity of your injury and to know the value of working with an experienced workplace accident attorney you trust.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Work?

North Carolina law requires almost every employer in the state to have workers’ compensation insurance, and this insurance comes into play whenever any kind of injury occurs in the workplace. As long as you were performing your job duties when your injury happened, and the injury will prevent you from working and earning wages for any extended period of time, you have the right to file a claim for compensation through your employer.

As part of the claim filing process, a workers’ compensation doctor will need to evaluate your condition and assign you a disability rating that reflects the overall severity of the injury and the extent of long-term complications it is likely to cause. If any disputes arise from your employer and/or their insurance carrier, an experienced attorney will know how to resolve these problems for you.

If your claim is approved, you will receive two types of benefits from the insurance carrier. First is medical expense coverage. An injured worker can usually expect their employer’s insurance carrier to pay for all the medical expenses related to their workplace injury, including the cost of future rehabilitative care they need to reach maximum medical improvement. Second is disability benefits, which are more variable from case to case.

Disability benefits are paid in either total or partial designations depending on whether an injured worker retains any ability to work following their injury. If they can still work but cannot earn their normal income because of the injury, partial disability benefits may be paid to offset their diminished earnings. If they cannot work at all, they can receive total disability benefits each week for up to 500 weeks or until they recover enough to resume working.

How an Attorney Can Help

If you are awarded total disability benefits, each weekly payment will amount to about two-thirds of your average weekly income, and these payments will continue until you can return to work or for up to 500 weeks. However, if an injured claimant is permanently disabled, they may be unable to resume their previous job. In this situation, the employer’s insurance carrier may offer vocational rehabilitation or an extension of disability benefits for the foreseeable future.

Your workplace injury attorney can help extract maximum value from your workers’ compensation claim, and they will be invaluable for the help they can provide in resolving any problems you encounter with the claim filing process. Additionally, if you have grounds to pursue legal recourse outside of the workers’ compensation system, they can assist you with this as well.


Q: How Long Can You Be on Workers’ Comp?

A: The time you can be on workers’ comp in the state typically depends on the severity of your injury and how long it takes for you to recover. However, there is a general cap of 500 weeks for most claims. If you have been permanently disabled and will be completely unable to return to work in the future, you may qualify for more expansive benefits, and you will need an experienced attorney’s help to address such issues in your case.

Q: Can You Be Fired While on Workers’ Comp?

A: Yes, it is possible for you to be fired while on workers’ comp in North Carolina, but your employer may not fire you simply because you are on workers’ comp. At-will employment law generally provides broad flexibility for employers to terminate employees as they see fit, and your boss may need to replace you while you are recovering from your injury. They may not, however, fire an employee for an illegal reason.

Q: How Much Can I Receive in Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

A: The total amount you can receive in workers’ compensation benefits depends on the extent and severity of the injury you suffered. The average injured worker can expect their employer’s insurance carrier to provide full medical expense coverage and ongoing disability benefits that reflect their diminished earning capacity. Working with an experienced attorney is the optimal way to increase the total benefits you secure from the insurance carrier.

Q: Can I Sue My Employer for a Workplace Injury?

A: You can only sue your employer for a workplace injury in the state if they do not have workers’ compensation as required by law or if they forced you to do a task outside of your usual job duties that had a high risk of causing your injury. Alternatively, you may have grounds for civil action against any third party outside of your work that caused your injury. Your attorney can advise you of any such options for recourse that may enhance your recovery.

Q: What Are Attorney Fees for a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

A: Attorney fees for a workers’ compensation attorney in the state can vary from attorney to attorney, but state law limits how much an attorney can charge a client to a percentage of the settlement. Christina Rivenbark & Associates offers this contingency fee billing to ensure our client does not pay more for legal counsel than they secure in benefits for their injury.

Christina Rivenbark & Associates has extensive professional experience representing injured workers throughout the state in all types of workers’ compensation cases. We know that you are likely to have many difficult questions regarding how long you can be on workers’ comp in North Carolina and more details of your case, and we are ready to provide the advice and support you need. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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4009 Oleander Drive Wilmington, NC 28403

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